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As you might expect, a large number of our graduates, about one in eight, enter careers in communications, including journalism, editing, and advertising. Many students take advantage of internships with local publishers, while others work on our student newspaper The Hilltop News, our literary journal Quad, or the Leadership Studies annual publication The Compass. In the classroom and out, English majors hone their writing skills; and our graduates credit those skills with helping distinguish themselves from competitors in the job market.

Meghan McDonald"I had experience writing both creatively and academically about the environment, thanks to professors who gave me free rein to explore my science interests in the English classroom."

Meghan McDonald, Class of 2008
Writer at the Shelton Group

As a copywriter for Shelton Group, a communications agency focused solely in the sustainability and energy efficiency sectors, Meghan McDonald melds two loves — and her English major and Environmental Studies minor from Birmingham-Southern.

I've taken a few turns along the career path, figuring out different ways to combine writing and a passion for the environment. My M.A. in creative writing from the University of Tennessee caught Shelton Group's attention during the job application process, but my degree from BSC has made the difference for me there.

All our creative work is based on research. I had experience writing both creatively and academically about the environment, thanks to professors who gave me free rein to explore my science interests in the English classroom (thanks Fred Ashe!), but even more importantly, I've been prepared to critically and creatively re-interpret agency research into ideas for client websites, educational materials, ads, and more. I also do my own research to write articles for the agency's online marketing publication. In both contexts, my task is to distill often complex, specialized information into emotionally compelling, practical messages.

The gift for me in this work is that everything I write is a dialogue with my audience, sharing with them a message that means something to me. Everything I write has potential, even if it's small, to spark thought, to spark action that's more responsible toward our world.

Kyle WhitmireKyle Whitmire, Class of 2002
Local Government and Politics Reporter
The Birmingham News

Since his days editing the Hilltop News, Kyle has been a mainstay of local journalism, helping to form the new, 21st century media landscape in Birmingham. As a "stringer" for The New York Times, Kyle has contributed to and written stories for national, business, arts and sports desks. Of particular note, he helped cover stories in Alabama, including the trials of Richard Scrushy and Don Siegelman, as well as the Jefferson County financial collapse and bankruptcy. Today he works as the government and politics reporter for the Alabama Media Group.

Brooke Bell

Brooke Bell, Class of 2001
Editor, Taste of the South magazine

Brooke Bell is the editor of Taste of the South, a fast-growing magazine that preserves the past and celebrates the future of Southern food. As editor, Brooke directs the editorial staff and is responsible for the planning and executing of all the content for the magazine. She also partners with the test kitchen staff and photography team to develop the recipes and images in every issue.

It was during my senior Interim trip to Italy with professors Samuel Pezzillo and Michael McInturff when I discovered my passion for food and decided to pair it with my journalism career path. It took a few years of culinary school, a 5-year run as a managing editor for outdoor magazines, and writing about food for anyone who would (or wouldn't) pay me to finally put the two together. I joined Hoffman Media in 2007 as the food editor of Cooking with Paula Deen. Today, I am the editor of Taste of the South magazine and the editorial director of Louisiana Cookin' magazine. My advice to students: do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life.